SL Chess Players Miss World Junior Chess Event After Italian Embassy Snubbed Them
by Reemus Fernando
The Sri Lankan team, including top-ranked national player Susal de Silva, who aspires to become the country’s first grandmaster, missed the vital opportunity to compete in the World Junior Chess Championships in Italy after the he Italian Embassy in Colombo has refused nominations for young chess players. for visa interviews Island Learns.
According to sources, requests from the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to secure appointments for young chess players and their parents to meet with Sri Lankan visa officers Italian Embassy fell on deaf ears.
The Sri Lankan team comprising Nalanda College prodigy de Silva, Nabil Nazar and Desandi Gamage was supposed to take part in the FIDE Junior (U-20) World Chess Championship 2022 in Sardinia, Italy from October 11-23.
The Sri Lanka Chess Federation (September 19) had forwarded the documents required to obtain visas following receipt of invitations from the sport’s world governing body, while the Ministry of Sports (September 21) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (September 22) also sent relevant correspondence requesting expedited appointments.
One of the parents speaking to The Island said they were mistreated by embassy officials during their visit to the Colombo office. With two members of the team returning to Sri Lanka on September 19 after attending the World Youth Chess Championship in Romania, the parents visited the Italian Embassy on September 22.
“On September 22, we were told that there was an audit going on at the embassy. We were asked to come on September 26th. On the 26th, after checking the documents, the visa officer informed us that we had to provide the applications for the three players as minors and that all the parents had to come and sign a document. Although I informed them that the parents were available on site and that we could do it within 30 minutes, the agent asked us to come the next day. Again on September 28 we visited the Embassy. After two hours, the security personnel returned the application form asking us to come on September 29 saying that the visa officer had informed us that they could not process applications that day,” the official said. one of the parents.
Our attempts to contact Italian embassy officials yesterday proved futile.
When asked if there was any delay on his part in applying for visas for young players, Luxman Wijesuriya, the president of the Sri Lanka Chess Federation said he had followed the usual procedure and that the federation had never failed to obtain visas for players on any previous occasion. “We applied for the event before the deadline and applied for visas after receiving invitations,” Wijesuriya said.